Professors Forrest, Thompson receive Roueche Award for teaching excellence | Butler Community College

Professors Forrest, Thompson receive Roueche Award for teaching excellence

Susan Forrest and Tim Thompson
Susan Forrest (left) and Tim Thompson (right) (Photos by Rodney Dimick)
Published: Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

Annual award based on student nominations; recognizes superior skills in the classroom.

Butler Community College professors Susan Forrest of El Dorado and Tim Thompson of Derby have been named this year’s recipients of the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence in Teaching Award.  

One full-time and one adjunct faculty member are chosen for the award, which is based on student nominations and selected by Butler's Faculty Development Team.

Forrest, lead instructor for the Biology department, was selected as this year’s full-time winner. She feels humbled to receive a student-nominated recognition. “For a student to take the time to nominate me for an award is very special,” she said. “It means so much.”

Forrest has taught at Butler since 2001, but has been around the college for much of her life. “My father was a Physics teacher at Butler, so I grew up understanding the philosophy and benefits of community college. [Then] I went to Butler as a student right out of high school [and] worked as a lab assistant in the microbiology lab,” she said.

Adjunct math professor Thompson has always had a passion for his subject matter. “I love teaching math. My joy comes from working with students who have struggled with math in the past, getting them to trust me enough to let me help them, and then seeing them successfully master the material,” he said.

A proud father of two who welcomed his fourth grandchild less than a month ago, Thompson points to a particular reason for his classroom accomplishments. “If I have been successful, it is because the math department set me up for success,” he said. “I have been helped since day one, and I am still being helped.”

The Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented by the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to professional development and student success in community colleges. The Excellence Award recognizes community college faculty across the nation who have made a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying exceptional teaching and leadership.

Forrest and Thompson receive a medallion, certificate and $500 honorarium. In addition, Forrest represented Butler and was recognized at the 2024 League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations Conference in Anaheim, CA, in March.